Ann Lee-Jeffs

Senior Director, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Product Stewardship, Teva Global Operations
2019 Teva Rising Star

With Teva: 3 years

We believe in the power and promise of enabling, developing and recognizing women in becoming exceptional leaders at Teva. As the premier catalyst for development of women in the healthcare industry, the Healthcare Business Women’s Association (HBA)’s Rising Stars program honors top talent who exhibit exemplary leadership and are role models who have made notable contributions. We asked this year’s Teva Rising Stars to share their career journeys and advice. These are their stories.

“All the little things that you do every day may not mean much at the time, but over time they will add up and help you to become the leader that you want to be.”

How I began my career:

My desire to help people and to protect the environment led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and a graduate degree in environmental engineering. My studies taught me how to make better and more efficient chemistries and to reduce and treat pollution. When I entered the work force in the late 1980s, I was excited to see that US-based multinationals were formalizing “first generation” Corporate Standards and Audit programs designed to keep workers safe and to protect the environment.

Since many of the engineering controls and treatment systems were expensive and challenging to operate and maintain, I started to think about greener chemistry alternatives for use in R&D. I am very proud of the work I have done over the years to influence large corporations to become healthier, safer and more sustainable. My interest in pollution prevention and greener chemistries ultimately led me to a product stewardship role at Teva.

Best professional advice:

My current manager helped me realize that a strong team could progress further than any of us could individually. He encouraged me to focus my energy on enabling others. I took the advice to heart and made deliberate steps to slow down and put more time into training my team to work independently. 

Most rewarding experience at Teva:

We have experienced a lot of change and uncertainty at Teva, and in my business unit, which has made it very challenging to stay focused. Through constant open communication and collaboration, I worked hard to keep the team motivated and I am really proud to see them stay positive and sharply focused on driving our goals forward. It is in tough times when leaders rise and thrive, and I have witnessed some of my direct reports transform into exceptional leaders.

Biggest influence on my career:

A Scholar for Diversity Studies at Rutgers University impacted my career in the most positive and meaningful way. A thoughtful and intellectual person, he always made time to mentor and coach me and I was inspired by his compassionate and inclusive leadership.

My biggest career risk:

I took a very challenging job in the non-profit sector at a large scientific society in Washington D.C to pursue an aspirational goal which I was very passionate about: promoting and advancing use of green chemistry. My work fed my passion to serve others, but took me away from my family on a regular basis, which challenged my husband to manage the kids and household on his own during weekdays. 

Advice I’d give to my 22-year-old self:

All the little things that you do every day may not mean much at the time but, over time, they will add up and help you to become the leader that you want to be.

My motto:

“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us,” Earl Nightingale.